William H. Regnery

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William H. Regnery
Born(1877-10-12)October 12, 1877
DiedJanuary 16, 1954(1954-01-16) (aged 76)
Spouse(s)Francis Susan Thrasher
ChildrenHenry Regnery
Parent(s)Wilhelm Regnery
Johanna Jung
RelativesHenry Regnery (son)
Alfred S. Regnery (grandson)
William Regnery II (grandson)

William Henry Regnery (October 12, 1877 – January 16, 1954) was a businessman and manufacturer in the United States.

Early life[edit]

William H. Regnery was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on October 12, 1877. His father Wilhelm immigrated to the United States from Ensch, Germany, and the family of his mother Johanna Jung had been in the country one generation longer. The family moved to St. Lucas, Iowa, when he was very young.[1] They were Roman Catholic.[citation needed]

Business career[edit]

Regnery had a successful career in business and manufacturing. In 1936, he was heading the Western Shade Cloth Company, based in Chicago.[2]

Political activity[edit]

In his youth, Regnery attached himself to a variety of social reform movements and was particularly devoted to the ideas of Henry George.[citation needed]

Regnery supported Franklin Roosevelt in the U.S. presidential elections of 1932 and 1936. In the 1936 election, during a radio broadcast sponsored by the Democratic National Committee, he said: "It is my firm and honest belief that we are in the prosperous and enviable position we occupy today as a direct result of the policies which his administration put into operation to rescue the industrial and agricultural populations of our country from disaster and ruin."[2]

He grew estranged from the New Deal in the late 1930s, objecting both to the growth of the government's role in the domestic economy and Roosevelt's internationalism that indicated the U.S. could intervene in a European military conflict.

He was among the founders of the America First Committee, attending one of its organizing sessions in Chicago along with General Robert E. Wood and Alice Roosevelt Longworth.[3] He served on its National Committee[4] and helped finance it as well.

Following World War II, he was the principal source of financial support for the Foundation for Foreign Affairs, a research and public education enterprise formed to promote a policy of non-intervention and support for Germany redevelopment rather than European-wide assistance.[5]

Personal life and death[edit]

Regnery married Francis Susan Thrasher, a descendant of older Pennsylvania and Maryland stock, in Kansas City on June 30, 1903. He was the father of conservative publisher Henry Regnery (1912–1996).

Regnery died on January 16, 1954.


  1. ^ William H. Regnery II (2003). "Preface". In Sarles, Ruth (ed.). A Story of America First: The Men and Women who Opposed U.S.intervention in World War II. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Business Leaders Extol President" (PDF). New York Times. August 22, 1936. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  3. ^ "America First Group Forms Local Units" (PDF). New York Times. November 13, 1940. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  4. ^ Sarles, Ruth, ed. (2003). A Story of America First: The Men and Women who Opposed U.S.intervention in World War II. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. p. 22. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Bjerre-Poulsen, Niels (2002). Right Face: Organizing the American Conservative Movement 1945-65. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. p. 93. Retrieved June 14, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Henry H. Regnery, William H. Regnery and His Family (1981)